A Calcutta High Court Bench of Justices Aniruddha Roy and I. P. Mukerji has relaxed the restrictions pertaining to visitors entering Durga Puja pandals in the state of West Bengal this year. By its order passed on Tuesday, the High Court has allowed fully vaccinated people to participate in rituals such as Anjali, Arati, Sindur Khela etc inside the premises of the puja pandals.
Calcutta High Court bench of Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj had previously passed an order on Oct 1 wherein it had ordered for re-implementation of last year’s puja restrictions imposed by Calcutta High Court.
The court had made all pandals off limit from public entry and had further ordered 5m and 10m distancing zones for small and big puja pandals respectively. It had also allowed small pandals a list of 15 persons who may have access to the pandals at all times, whereas, the number was 25 to 30 in respect of the bigger to the biggest pandals.
However, on Tuesday the court noted that a slight review of the directions is necessary with the improvement in the Covid-19 situation and administration of double vaccination to a substantial number of people.
The court stated: "Entry into a pandal shall be limited to the maximum number of persons permitted entry into it at any point of time, by the said orders of this court. Such entry shall be unrestricted provided each visitor is double vaccinated and wears a mask. Subject to the maximum number of persons which is allowed inside a Puja-pandal and compliance with the other conditions like double vaccination and wearing of masks, all activities and puja rituals like Anjali, Arati, Sindur Khela etc. are permitted inside the pandal."
The court further ordered that the puja pandal committees are tasked to make sure the order is complied with by putting checks at entry points.
Any lapse might result in the Puja and all other activities in that pandal being cancelled by the police. Further, it was clarified that apart from the above amendments, all other restrictions previously imposed stay intact.
Cause Title: Ajay Kumar De Vs. The State of West Bengal & Ors.
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